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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Meat Loaf

Bad Attitude: 30th Anniversary Edition

Review by Gary Hill

This is a brand new 30th anniversary edition of this classic Meat Loaf album. I don’t think there are too many people out there who would disagree that Meat Loaf is at his best when he’s collaborating with Jim Steinman. Well, this album shows that not all the rest of his catalog is weak, though. This one really has a lot of that same kind of theatrical rock sound that made the Bat out of Hell albums so great. That dramatic, theatrical side also lands this one in the progressive rock section of Music Street Journal. It tends to be a bit of a one-trick pony, lacking some of the depth and variety of the Steinman albums. Still, this is quite a strong release, anyway. And, with the new packaging, it’s well worth having.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Bad Attitude

The title track leads us off here. It’s a hard rocker that feels like vintage Meat Loaf. It’s also on that includes a secondary vocal from none other than Roger Daltrey.

Modern Girl
This is quite a diverse cut. It starts in a ballad-like sound. It eventually works out to more of a rocker. It’s hook laden and pretty darn cool.
Nowhere Fast
I’m not as crazy about this one mainly because the sound is so laden with 1980s trappings. It’s got some cool funky bass work, though. Some of the harder rocking sections later do a decent job of redeeming this thing. Musically this is a bit too repetitive. The vocal arrangement, though is multi-layered and complex. It’s the biggest selling point of the whole tune.
Surf's Up
This song feels like classic Meat Loaf. It features the multiple layers of vocals. It has that theatrical tour-de-force feeling that was such a big thing in Meat Loaf’s best songs. It starts balladic and builds out into a real rocker.
Piece of the Action
The first parts of this are very much keyboard dominated. Some of those keyboard sounds feel really dated. It works out into the more powerhouse prog styled arrangement from there, though. This isn’t a huge surprise, but rather it’s another killer bombastic Meat Loaf song.
Jumpin' the Gun
There is a more straightahead hard rocking sound to a lot of this. That said, we get plenty of that theatrical, rather proggy edge to it.
Cheatin' in Your Dreams
This one has a definite 1950s rock and roll element to it. Blend that with the typical Meat Loaf sound and you’ll have a good idea of what this is like.
Don't Leave Your Mark on Me
The mysterious sounding instrumental section that opens this is pure progressive rock. As it gets into the song proper, this still retains a prog edge blended with more hard rock.
Sailor To a Siren
The closer is really more of the same. When it’s this good, though, who cares? This is a real Meat Loaf theatrical rock tour-de-force and clearly fits in the progressive rock column to me. It’s a great way to end the set.
 
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